National Assessment of

Adult Literacy:
Prison Background
Questionnaire

Cover of 37

NAAL Prison Background Questionnaire

Instructions for Reading NAAL Prison Background Questionnaire
The NAAL background questionnaire is designed to be administered using a Computer
Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) system. Interviewers read the questions aloud to respondents
from the screens of laptop computers, and they record respondents’ answers directly on the computers.
The interviewers read aloud response options that are written in lower-case letters, but do not read
aloud the response options that are written in upper-case letters.
Administering the background questionnaire using a CAPI system allows for the inclusion of
complex skip patterns that target questions only at respondents in a particular subgroup. However,
these complex skip patterns make the background questionnaire difficult to follow on paper. Skip
patterns are indicated on the paper version of the background questionnaire in two different ways.
For some items where a respondent’s choice indicates that he or she should skip to a
particular item, the skip pattern is indicated in parenthesis following the response item. For example, if
a respondent answers “No” to question A-9, “Have you ever taken a class in the United States to learn
English-as-a-second-language, sometimes called an ESL class?,” the respondent skips to question A11, since the question is about how long ago he or she took the class is not relevant for this
respondent. If the respondent answers “Yes” to question A-9, the respondent continues to question A9A.
When skip patterns are based on responses to one or more earlier questions in the survey, the
skip patterns are indicated in a box that appears before the item that some respondents may skip. For
example, question A-4 is skipped by some respondents based on their answer to A-1. The box
inserted before question A-4 describes the skip pattern.
For all questions, interviewers had the option to code responses “Don’t Know” or “Refused”
when appropriate.

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National Center for Education Statistics

NAAL Prison Background Questionnaire

National Study Of America’s
Adults
PRISON QUESTIONNAIRE
IF R IS SCREENER R:
You have been selected to
participate in the survey.

IF R IS NOT SCREENER R:
Hello, I am [NAME] from Westat, a research
organization in Rockville, MD. We are
helping the United States Department of
Education with a very important survey about
how adults use printed materials.
Thousands of people across the United
States have already participated in the study
in their homes. The United States
Department of Education also wants to find
out how adults in prisons use printed
materials and what they read. Based on a
list of all people residing in this institution,
you have been selected at random to take
part in a special version of this survey
designed to collect information from people
incarcerated in state and federal prisons.

I will ask you a short set of questions about your background and education. Then, I will
give you a booklet containing exercises based on printed materials, such as newspapers,
maps, stories, brochures, forms, and advertisements. Others who have completed these
exercises found them interesting and fun. The entire survey will take approximately 90
minutes to complete.
Your participation in this survey is voluntary and very important. All of your
answers will be kept strictly confidential and will not be available to anyone here at the
facility. All information will be reported for a group as a whole and your responses will not
be linked to your name. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to
answer.
IF R REQUESTS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PURPOSE OF SURVEY:
Today, adults increasingly are expected to use printed information in our society,
but there is very little information available on whether or not they are well
prepared. This survey will provide information about the reading and writing experiences,
activities, and skills of adults in the United States. Information will
be used by educators, policymakers, and business leaders to design programs in
order to improve the literacy skills of adults.
According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of
information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control number
for this information collection is 1850-0654 and will expire on 06/30/04. The time required to complete
these forms is estimated to average .45 hours per respondent, including the time to review instructions
and complete the survey. If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the time estimate
or suggestions for improving this form, please write to: U.S Department of Education, Washington,
DC 20202-4651. If you have any comments or concerns regarding the status of your individual
submission of this form, write directly to: NCES, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20006.
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National Center for Education Statistics

Section A. General and Language Background

Section A. General and Language Background
Interviewer: Code gender of respondent. 1 = Male; 2 = Female
A-1.

In what country were you born?
Look up table ...................................................................................................
If answered U.S.A. for A-1, go to A-3; otherwise continue.

A-1A.

How old were you when you moved to the United States?
_______________
Age

A-2.

How many years have you lived in the United States?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.

A-3.

1 TO 5.......................................................................................................
6 TO 10 ..................................................................................................................
11 TO 15................................................................................................................
16 TO 20...................................................................................................
21 TO 30...................................................................................................
31 TO 40...................................................................................................
41 TO 50...................................................................................................
51 OR MORE ...........................................................................................

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

What is your date of birth?
_______________ _________ _____________
Month
Day
Year
If answered U.S.A. for A-1, go to A-5; otherwise continue.

A-4.

What was the highest level of education you completed before coming to the United States?
(If response does not fit categories, probe for equivalent.)
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.

A-5.

DID NOT ATTEND SCHOOL BEFORE COMING TO U.S. ......................
PRIMARY (GRADES K-3)..................................................................................
ELEMENTARY (GRADES 4-8) .........................................................................
SECONDARY (GRADES 9-12) ................................................................
VOCATIONAL (POSTSECONDARY).......................................................
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ..........................................................................
OTHER (SPECIFY) ..................................................................................

1
2
3
4
5
6
910

When you were growing up, what language or languages were usually spoken in your home?
(Select all that apply.)
Look up table ...................................................................................................

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National Center for Education Statistics

Section A. General and Language Background

A-6.

What language or languages did you learn to speak before you started school?
(Select all that apply.)
Look up table ...................................................................................................
If English only for both A-5 and A-6, go to A-11; otherwise continue.

A-7.

What language did you first learn to read and write?
Look up table ...................................................................................................

A-8.

How old were you when you learned to speak English?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.

1-4 YEARS OLD.......................................................................................
5-10 YEARS OLD ................................................................................................
11-15 YEARS OLD..............................................................................................
16-20 YEARS OLD...................................................................................
21 YEARS OR OLDER.............................................................................
DOES NOT SPEAK ENGLISH .................................................................

1
2
3
4
5
95

If English only in A-6, go to A-11; otherwise continue.
A-9.

Have you ever taken a class in the United States to learn English-as-a-second-language, sometimes
called an ESL class?
A. YES ............................................................................................................
B. NO..............................................................................................................

A-9A.

1
2
3

How long ago did you last take an English-as-a-second-language or ESL class in the United States? Was it…
A.
B.
C.
D.

A-11.

(A-11)

Where did you take the ESL class? Was it during your current or a previous incarceration in jail, prison or
another correctional facility, or outside of prison? (Select all that apply.)
A. CURRENT ADMISSION.............................................................................
B. PRIOR ADMISSION...................................................................................
C. OUTSIDE PRISON/CORRECTIONAL FACILITY.......................................

A-10.

1
2

Within the last two years,..........................................................................
2 to 5 years ago, ..................................................................................................
More than 5 years ago, or ..................................................................................
Are you taking an ESL class now? ...........................................................

1
2
3
4

Which language do you usually speak now?
Look up table ...................................................................................................

A-12.

What other language do you often speak now?
A. Look up table ............................................................................................
B. No other language spoken........................................................................

4

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National Center for Education Statistics

Section A. General and Language Background

A-13.

Other than English, what language do you speak best?
A. None .........................................................................................................
B. Look up table ............................................................................................

1

If English only in A-6, A-11, A-12, and A-13, go to A-15; otherwise, repeat item A-14
for each non-English language identified in questions A-6, A-11, A-12, and A-13.
A-14.

With regard to (non-English language in A-6, A-11, A-12, and A-13), how well do you…
Would you say…
Very well
Well

A-15.

Not well

or

Not at all

A. Understand it when it is
spoken to you? .....................
B. Speak it?...............................

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

C. Read it? ................................

1

2

3

4

D. Write it? ................................

1

2

3

4

With regard to the English language, how well do you…
Would you say…
Very well
Well

Not well

or

Not at all

A. Understand it when it is
spoken to you? .....................
B. Speak it?...............................

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

C. Read it? ................................

1

2

3

4

D. Write it? ................................

1

2

3

4

If English only for A-6, go to B-1; otherwise continue.
A-16.

[HAND CARD.] How difficult is it for you to (item) in English?
Would you say you have...

HAND
CARD

1

A. Understand people having
a conversation with you? .....
B. Understand television,
movies, or videos? ...............
C. Understand a telephone
conversation?.......................

No
difficulty

Some
difficulty

Moderate
difficulty

Great deal
of difficulty

NEVER
TRIED

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

or a

If answered 1 to A-15C and A-15D, go to B-1. If answered 1 to A-15C, but A-15D
was not answered 1, go to A-18; otherwise continue.

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National Center for Education Statistics

Section A. General and Language Background

A-17.

[HAND CARD.] How difficult is it for you to (item) written in English?
Would you say you have...

HAND
CARD

1

A-18.
HAND
CARD

1

A. Understand a utility bill, such
as telephone or electric? ......
B. Understand the dosage
information on over-thecounter medicines? ..............
C. Look up information in
dictionaries, encyclopedias,
phone books, or other
reference books?..................

No
difficulty

Some
difficulty

Moderate
difficulty

Great deal
of difficulty

NEVER
TRIED

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

or a

[HAND CARD.] How difficult is it for you to fill out forms in English, such as at the doctor’s office or at
school? Would you say you have...
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

No difficulty, ..............................................................................................
Some difficulty, .....................................................................................................
Moderate difficulty, or a.......................................................................................
Great deal of difficulty? .......................................................................................
NEVER TRIED .........................................................................................

6

1
2
3
4
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National Center for Education Statistics

Section B. Educational Background and Experiences

Section B. Educational Background and Experiences
B-1.

HAND
CARD

2

B-2.

[HAND CARD.] I’d like to ask you about your educational background and experiences. What is the
highest level of public or private education you completed prior to your most recent admission to prison?
(If R went to school outside United States, probe for equivalent.)
A. LESS THAN HIGH SCHOOL (0-8 YEARS) (SPECIFY GRADE) ...............
B. SOME HIGH SCHOOL (9-12 YEARS BUT DID NOT GRADUATE)
(SPECIFY GRADE) .............................................................................................
C. GED OR HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY .....................................................
D. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE (12 YEARS; ACCELERATED OR EARLY
GRADUATE PROGRAM) .........................................................................
E. ATTENDED A VOCATIONAL, TRADE, OR BUSINESS SCHOOL AFTER
HIGH SCHOOL ....................................................................................................
F. COLLEGE: LESS THAN TWO YEARS ..........................................................
G. COLLEGE: ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE (A.A.) .................................................
H. COLLEGE: TWO YEARS OR MORE, NO DEGREE...................................
I. COLLEGE GRADUATE (B.S. OR B.A.) ..........................................................
J. POSTGRADUATE/NO DEGREE......................................................................
K. POSTGRADUATE/DEGREE (M.S., M.A., PH.D., M.D., ETC.)...................

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

1
2

(B-4)

Are you currently enrolled in any academic classes?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

B-4.

3

Since your most recent admission to prison, have you completed any additional education?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

B-3.

2

1
2

(B-5)

Are you on a waiting list for an academic class or program?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

1
2

If answered 2 to B-2, go to B-6; otherwise continue.

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National Center for Education Statistics

Section B. Educational Background and Experiences

B-5.

HAND
CARD

3

[HAND CARD.] Since your most recent admission to prison, what is the highest level of education you
completed? (If R went to school outside U.S., probe for equivalent.)
A. CLASSES UP TO THE 9TH GRADE .........................................................
B. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSES, BUT DID NOT RECEIVE A GED OR HIGH
SCHOOL DEGREE .............................................................................................
C. GED OR HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY .....................................................
D. COLLEGE CLASSES, BUT DID NOT RECEIVE A DEGREE ....................
E. COLLEGE: ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE (A.A.).............................................
F. COLLEGE GRADUATE (B.S. OR B.A.) ..........................................................
G. POSTGRADUATE CLASSES ...........................................................................

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

If answered 1 to B-2, then lookup from B-5; otherwise lookup from B-1.
B-6.

What year did you (graduate from high school/receive your GED/attend your last year of school)?
Year ____________________________________
If answered 2, 3 or 4 to B-1, or 3 to B-5, go to B-8; otherwise continue.

B-7.

What type of high school diploma did you receive? Was it a regular high school diploma from a school in
the United States; a regular high school diploma from a school outside the United States run by the United
States government, such as a Department of Defense school; a regular high school diploma from a school
outside the United States, not run by the United States government; a GED or high school equivalency
degree; a certificate of completion that was different from a regular high school diploma; or something
else?
A. REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA FROM A SCHOOL IN THE
UNITED STATES .....................................................................................
B. REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA FROM A SCHOOL OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES RUN BY THE UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT, SUCH AS A DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
SCHOOL................................................................................................................
C. REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA FROM A SCHOOL OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES, NOT RUN BY THE UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT....................................................................................................
D. GED........................................................................................................................
E. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION ...........................................................
F. DID NOT RECEIVE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA.......................................
G. OTHER (SPECIFY) ..................................................................................

1

2

3
4
5
6
910

If answered 10, 11, 12 or DK/RF to B-1, go to box before B-9; otherwise continue.

8

National Center for Education Statistics

Section B. Educational Background and Experiences

B-8.

Now I want you to think about your education prior to prison. What was the
main reason you stopped your public or private schooling when you did?
Please listen to me read all the answer categories, and then tell me which
one best describes the reason you stopped your schooling. Was it…
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.
J.
K.
L.

Financial problems, .................................................................................
Did not do well in school,..........................................................................
Did not like school or was bored in school, ..............................................
Expelled from school or asked to leave, ...................................................
Wanted to work, .......................................................................................
Wanted to go into the military, ..................................................................
Personal illness, disability, or pregnancy,.................................................
Family reasons such as the illness or death of one of your parents, ........
School not available or not accessible,.....................................................
Did not feel safe in school,........................................................................
Sent to jail, prison, or detention center, or ................................................
Other?.......................................................................................................

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
13
14

If answered 2-6 or DK/RF to B-1, go to B-10; otherwise continue. If answered 7 or
9 to B-1, read “attend your last year of college” for B-9. If answered 11 or 12 for
B-1, read “receive your undergraduate degree” for B-9. If answered 8 for B-1,
read “receive your associate’s degree” for B-9. If answered 10 to B-1, read
“graduate from college” for B-9.
B-9.

What year did you (attend your last year of college/receive your undergraduate degree/receive your
associate’s degree/graduate from college)?
Year ____________________________________

B-10.

Have you ever taken part in a program other than in regular school in order to
improve your basic skills, that is, basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills?
The program may have been in prison or it may have been outside of prison.
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

B-11.

1
2

(B-14)

Where did you take the basic skills class? Was it during your current or a
previous incarceration in jail, prison or another correctional facility, or outside of
prison? (Select all that apply.)
A. CURRENT ADMISSION ...........................................................................
B. PRIOR ADMISSION .................................................................................
C. OUTSIDE PRISON/CORRECTIONAL FACILITY.....................................

9

1
2
3

National Center for Education Statistics

Section B. Educational Background and Experiences

B-12.

How long ago did you last take a class to improve your basic skills. Was it…
A.
B.
C.
D.

Within the last two years,..........................................................................
2 to 5 years ago, ......................................................................................
More than 5 years ago, or.........................................................................
Are you currently taking a basic skills class?............................................

1
2
3
4

If answered 1 to A-9 and B-10, go to B-13; otherwise go to B-14.
B-13.

Was the basic skills class part of the English-as-a-second-language or ESL
class you took, or was it a separate class?
A. PART OF ESL CLASS..............................................................................
B. SEPARATE CLASS..................................................................................

B-14.

Have you received any type of information technology skill certification sponsored by a
hardware or software manufacturer or an industry or professional association?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

B-15.

1
2

(B-17)

1
2

(B-17)

Did you have to pass a test to get the certification?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

B-16.

1
2

How did you prepare for the test? Was it...
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.

A class offered in prison, jail or other correctional facility? .......................
A class offered by a four-year college or university? ................................
A class offered by a community college? .................................................
A class offered by a technical school or private vendor?..........................
A class offered by a high school or vocational secondary school?...........
A class offered directly by a hardware or software manufacturer, such as
Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, or Cisco? .........................................................
G. On the job training or apprenticeship?......................................................
H. Independent study? ..................................................................................
I. Other? (Specify) .......................................................................................

B-17.

NO

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

Other than information technology, have you ever received any type of job-related skill certification
recognized by a licensing board or an industry or professional association?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

B-18.

YES

1
2

(C-1)

1
2

(C-1)

Did you have to pass a test to get the certification?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

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National Center for Education Statistics

Section B. Educational Background and Experiences

B-19.

How did you prepare for the test? Was it...
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.

A class offered in prison, jail or other correctional facility? .......................
A class offered by a four-year college or university? ................................
A class offered by a community college? .................................................
A class offered by a technical school or private vendor?..........................
A class offered by a high school or vocational secondary school?...........
On the job training or apprenticeship?......................................................
Independent study? ..................................................................................
Other? (Specify) .......................................................................................

11

YES

NO

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
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National Center for Education Statistics

Section C. Prison Experiences

Section C. Prison Experiences
C-1.

Now I’d like to ask you a few questions about your prison experiences. Since your most recent admission
to prison, have you participated in…
A. Employment counseling (including how to find a job or interviewing
skills)?.......................................................................................................
B. Classes in parenting or child rearing skills?..............................................
C. Classes in life skills and community adjustment including anger
management, conflict resolution, personal finance, or other life skills? ....
D. Drug or alcohol groups (for example, Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon,
Narcotics Anonymous, or other drug or alcohol-related groups)? ............
E. Inmate assistance groups, for example, inmate liaison, advisory, or
workers’ councils? ....................................................................................
F. A religious study group? ...........................................................................
G. An ethnic/racial organization (for example, NAACP, African-American or
Black Culture group, Hispanic Committee, Aztlan, or Lakota? .................
H. Any other programs or groups? (Specify).................................................

C-2.

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1
2

(C-6)

1
2

Since your most recent admission to prison, how long have you spent altogether in vocational
training?
A. LESS THAN ONE MONTH.......................................................................
B. NUMBER OF MONTHS (SPECIFY).........................................................
C. NUMBER OF YEARS (SPECIFY) ............................................................

C-5.

1

Are you currently a student in a vocational training program?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

C-4.

NO

Since your most recent admission to prison, have you been a student in a vocational training
program, excluding prison work assignments?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

C-3.

YES

1
2
3

Did this training or education include instruction intended to:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Improve your English reading skills? ........................................................
Improve your English writing skills?..........................................................
Improve your arithmetic or mathematics skills?........................................
Improve your computer skills? ..................................................................
Help you communicate or work better with other people? ........................

YES

NO

1
1
1
1
1

2
2
2
2
2

If answered 1 to C-3, go to C-7; otherwise continue.

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National Center for Education Statistics

Section C. Prison Experiences

C-6.

Are you on a waiting list for any vocational training programs?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

C-7.

1
2

Since last (current day), how many hours did you spend in any type of class
as a student?
HOURS: ______

C-8.

For what offenses are you now in prison? (PROBE: Any others?) (Record
each offense on a separate line.)
OFFENSE #1: _____________________________________
OFFENSE #2: _____________________________________
OFFENSE #3: _____________________________________
OFFENSE #4: _____________________________________
OFFENSE #5: _____________________________________
If only one offense reported in C-8, go to C-10; otherwise continue.

C-9.

For which of these offenses did you receive the longest sentence?
A. Look up responses ...................................................................................
B. Hasn’t been sentenced.............................................................................

C-10.

95

In what month and year were you admitted to prison most recently?
____________________________________________________________
MONTH
/
YEAR

C-11.

Before your most recent admission to prison, did you ever serve time in prison, jail, or some
other correctional facility as a juvenile or adult?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

C-12.

1
2

Have you ever been placed on probation, either as a juvenile or as an adult?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

1
2

If answered 95 to C-9, go to D-1; otherwise continue.
C-13.

Do you have a definite date on which you expect to be released from prison?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

C-14.

1
2

(C-15)

In what month and year will you be released?
____________________________________________________________
MONTH
/
YEAR

13

(D-1)

National Center for Education Statistics

Section C. Prison Experiences

C-15.

Do you expect to ever be released from prison?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

C-16.

1
2

(D-1)

In what month and year is your earliest possible release date?
____________________________________________________________
MONTH
/
YEAR

14

National Center for Education Statistics

Section D. Prison Work Assignments and Labor Force Participation

Section D. Prison Work Assignments and Labor Force Participation
D-1.

The next question is about jobs you’ve had since your most recent admission
to prison on (date from C-10). Do you currently have any work assignments?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

D-2.

HAND
CARD

6
D-3.

HAND
CARD

6
D-4.

1
2

(D-5)

[HAND CARD.] How often do you read as part of your current job(s) in prison? Would you
say…
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Every day, ...........................................................................................
A few times a week, ............................................................................
Once a week, ......................................................................................
Less than once a week, or ..................................................................
Never?.................................................................................................

1
2
3
4
5

[HAND CARD.] How often do you write as part of your current job(s) in prison? Would you
say…
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Every day, ...........................................................................................
A few times a week, ............................................................................
Once a week, ......................................................................................
Less than once a week, or ..................................................................
Never?.................................................................................................

1
2
3
4
5

In the last week, how many hours did you work at your job(s)?
HOURS: __________

D-5.

In the year before your incarceration on (date from C-10), did you receive income from any of the
following? (Code all that apply.)
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.

Pay from jobs or wages? ..........................................................................
Educational scholarship or grant? ............................................................
Family or friends? .....................................................................................
Unemployment insurance compensation and/or workman’s
compensation? .........................................................................................
Social Security or other pensions (e.g., veterans, Supplemental Security
Income, disability)?...................................................................................
Welfare, charity?.......................................................................................
Illegal sources?.........................................................................................
Anything else? (Specify)...........................................................................

YES

NO

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

If date of admission from C-10 is earlier than January 2001, go to box before D13; otherwise continue.

15

National Center for Education Statistics

Section D. Prison Work Assignments and Labor Force Participation

D-6.

In the past three years, that is, since January 2001, did you work for pay or profit, either full-time or parttime, while not serving time in prison?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

D-7.

(Box before D-13)

Between January 2001 and (date from C-10), how many months did you work?
A. LESS THAN 1 MONTH.............................................................................
B. NUMBER OF MONTHS (SPECIFY).........................................................

D-8.

1
2

1
2

(Box before D-13)

Now I would like to ask you some questions about your most recent full-time or part-time job prior to your
most recent admission to prison. For what kind of business or industry did you work? (For example,
television and radio manufacturing, retail shoe store, state labor department, farm, etc.) (If R worked two
or more jobs, probe: Tell me about the job you worked the most hours or the job you considered your
primary employment.)
BUSINESS OR INDUSTRY: _____________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

D-9.

What was your occupation, that is, what was your job called? (For example, electrical engineer, stock
clerk, typist, farmer, etc.)
OCCUPATION: _______________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

D-10.

What were the most important activities or duties at this job? (For example, typing, keeping account
books, filing, selling cars, operating a printing press, finishing concrete, etc.)
ACTIVITIES OR DUTIES: _______________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________

D-11.

Was this full-time, part-time, or occasional work?
A. FULL-TIME ...............................................................................................
B. PART-TIME ..............................................................................................
C. OCCASIONAL ..........................................................................................

D-12.

1
2
3

Were you employed by government, by a PRIVATE employer, or were you self-employed or
working in a family business?
A.
B.
C.
D.

GOVERNMENT........................................................................................
PRIVATE EMPLOYER .............................................................................
SELF-EMPLOYED ...................................................................................
WORKING IN A FAMILY BUSINESS .......................................................

16

1
2
3
4

National Center for Education Statistics

Section D. Prison Work Assignments and Labor Force Participation

If age 66 or older (based on A-3), skip to E-1; otherwise continue.
D-13.

How much do you think your reading skills limit your job opportunities – for example, to get a
promotion or a (different) job you would like to have? Would you say a lot, some, a little, or not
at all?
A.
B.
C.
D.

D-14.

A LOT .......................................................................................................
SOME .......................................................................................................
A LITTLE ..................................................................................................
NOT AT ALL .............................................................................................

1
2
3
4

How much do you think your math skills limit your job opportunities – for
example, to get a promotion or a (different) job you would like to have? Would
you say a lot, some, a little, or not at all?
A.
B.
C.
D.

D-16.

1
2
3
4

How much do you think your writing skills limit your job opportunities – for example, to get a
promotion or a (different) job you would like to have? Would you say a lot, some, a little, or not
at all?
A.
B.
C.
D.

D-15.

A LOT .......................................................................................................
SOME .......................................................................................................
A LITTLE ..................................................................................................
NOT AT ALL .............................................................................................

A LOT .......................................................................................................
SOME .......................................................................................................
A LITTLE ..................................................................................................
NOT AT ALL .............................................................................................

1
2
3
4

How much do you think your computer skills limit your job opportunities – for
example, to get a promotion or a (different) job you would like to have? Would
you say a lot, some, a little, or not at all?
A.
B.
C.
D.

A LOT .......................................................................................................
SOME .......................................................................................................
A LITTLE ..................................................................................................
NOT AT ALL .............................................................................................

17

1
2
3
4

National Center for Education Statistics

Section E. Political and Social Participation

Section E: Political and Social Participation
E-1.

[HAND CARD.] I’d like to find out how you usually get information about current events, public affairs, and
the government. How much information about current events, public affairs, and the government do you
get from …
Would you say…
A lot

Some

A little

or

None

HAND
CARD

A. Newspapers?........................

1

2

3

4

B. Magazines? ..........................

4

1

2

3

4

C. Radio and television? ...........

1

2

3

4

D. Books or brochures? ............

1

2

3

4

E. Family members, friends,
other inmates or staff?..........

1

2

3

4

If English only for A-6, go to E-3; otherwise continue.
E-2.

How much of the information you get about current events, public affairs, and the government
is presented in (non-English language in A-6, A-11, A-12 or A-13)? Would you say…
A.
B.
C.
D.

E-3.

NONE .......................................................................................................
1 HOUR OR LESS ...................................................................................
2 HOURS..................................................................................................
3 HOURS..................................................................................................
4 HOURS..................................................................................................
5 HOURS..................................................................................................
6 OR MORE HOURS................................................................................

0
1
2
3
4
5
6

How often do you use the services of a library for any reason? Would you say…
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

E-5.

1
2
3
4

How many hours do you usually watch television, videotapes, or DVDs each day?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.

E-4.

All,.............................................................................................................
Most,.........................................................................................................
Some, or ...................................................................................................
None? .......................................................................................................

Daily,.........................................................................................................
Weekly,.....................................................................................................
Monthly, ....................................................................................................
Once or twice a year, or............................................................................
Never? ......................................................................................................

1
2
3
4
5

(E-8)
(E-7)
(E-5)
(E-5)
(E-6)

During the past month, have you used or ever wanted to use the library?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

18

1
2

(E-7)
(Box before E-9)

National Center for Education Statistics

Section E. Political and Social Participation

E-6.

During the past month, have you ever wanted to use the library?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

E-7.

HAND
CARD

10

1
2

(E-7)
(Box before E-9)

[HAND CARD.] How long does it usually take you to get access to the prison library when you
want to use it? Would you say...
A.
B.
C.
D.

1
2
3
4

Less than two days,..................................................................................
Two to six days,........................................................................................
Seven to 10 days, or.................................................................................
More than 10 days?..................................................................................

If answered 5 for E-4, go to box before E-9; otherwise continue.
E-8.

During the past month, did you borrow any materials from a library?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

1
2

If answered (born in U.S.A.) or (U.S. territory) to A-1, go to E-10; otherwise
continue.
E-9.

Are you a citizen of the United States?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

E-10.

1
2

Did you ever serve on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

1
2

If answered 2 to E-9, go to F-1; otherwise continue.
If in prison for current offense in November 2000 (based on C-10), go to F-1;
otherwise continue.
E-11.

In 2000, Al Gore ran on the Democratic ticket against George W. Bush for the Republicans. Do
you remember for sure whether or not you voted in that election?
A.
B.
C.
D.

E-12.

YES, REMEMBER FOR SURE ................................................................
NO, DON’T REMEMBER FOR SURE ......................................................
YES, VOTED ............................................................................................
NO, DIDN’T VOTE....................................................................................

1
2
3
4

(F-1)
(F-1)
(F-1)

Did you vote in that election?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

19

1
2

National Center for Education Statistics

Section F. Literacy Practices

Section F: Literacy Practices
F-1.

[HAND CARD.] Now I’d like to talk to you about what you read in English. How often do you read (item) in
English?
Would you say...

HAND
CARD

6

Every
day

A few
times a
week

Once a
week

Less than
once a
week

A. Newspapers or magazines ...

1

2

3

4

5

B. Books ...................................

1

2

3

4

5

C. Letters and notes..................

1

2

3

4

5

or

Never

If English only in A-6, go to F-3; otherwise continue.

F-2.

[HAND CARD.] How often do you read (item) in (non-English language in A-6, A-11, A-12 or A-13)?
Would you say...

HAND
CARD

6
F-3.

Every
day

A few
times a
week

Once a
week

Less than
once a
week

A. Newspapers or magazines ...

1

2

3

4

5

B. Books ...................................

1

2

3

4

5

C. Letters and notes..................

1

2

3

4

5

Never

Do you ever use a computer?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

F-4.

or

1
2

(F-5)

[HAND CARD.] Now I’d like to ask you about how you use the computer. How often do you (item)?
Would you say...

HAND
CARD

6

A. Write using a word processing
program?..............................
B. Use a spreadsheet
program?..............................
C. Look up information on a CDROM? ...................................

Every
day

A few
times a
week

Once a
week

Less than
once a
week

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

20

or

Never

National Center for Education Statistics

Section F. Literacy Practices

F-5.

[HAND CARD.] How much help do you get from family members, friends, other inmates, or staff with…
Would you say…

HAND
CARD

4

A. Filling out forms? ..................
B. Reading or explaining
newspaper articles or other
written information? ..............
C. Writing notes and letters?.....
D. Using basic arithmetic, that is,
adding, subtracting,
multiplying, or dividing, such
as filling out order forms or
balancing a checkbook? .......

A lot

Some

A little

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

21

or

None

National Center for Education Statistics

Section G. Demographic Information

Section G: Demographic Information
Now I’m going to ask you some questions about your family.
G-1.

In what country was your mother (stepmother or female guardian) born?
Look up table ...................................................................................................

G-2.

What was the highest level of education your mother (stepmother or female guardian)
completed? (If went to school outside U.S., probe for equivalent.)
A. LESS THAN HIGH SCHOOL (0-8 YEARS) (SPECIFY GRADE) .............
B. SOME HIGH SCHOOL (9-12 YEARS BUT DID NOT GRADUATE)
(SPECIFY GRADE) ..................................................................................
C. GED OR HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY...............................................
D. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE (12 YEARS; ACCELERATED OR EARLY
GRADUATE PROGRAM) .........................................................................
E. ATTENDED VOCATIONAL, TRADE, OR BUSINESS SCHOOL AFTER
HIGH SCHOOL ........................................................................................
F. COLLEGE: LESS THAN TWO YEARS ....................................................
G. COLLEGE: ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE (A.A.).............................................
H. COLLEGE: TWO YEARS OR MORE, NO DEGREE................................
I. COLLEGE GRADUATE (B.S. OR B.A.) ...................................................
J. POSTGRADUATE/NO DEGREE .............................................................
K. POSTGRADUATE/DEGREE (M.S., M.A., Ph.D., M.D., ETC.) .................

G-3.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

In what country was your father (stepfather or male guardian) born?
Look up table ...................................................................................................

G-4.

What was the highest level of education your father (stepfather or male guardian) completed?
(If went to school outside United States, probe for equivalent.)
A. LESS THAN HIGH SCHOOL (0-8 YEARS) (SPECIFY GRADE) .............
B. SOME HIGH SCHOOL (9-12 YEARS BUT DID NOT GRADUATE)
(SPECIFY GRADE) ..................................................................................
C. GED OR HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY...............................................
D. HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE (12 YEARS; ACCELERATED OR EARLY
GRADUATE PROGRAM) .........................................................................
E. ATTENDED VOCATIONAL, TRADE, OR BUSINESS SCHOOL AFTER
HIGH SCHOOL ........................................................................................
F. COLLEGE: LESS THAN TWO YEARS ....................................................
G. COLLEGE: ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE (A.A.).............................................
H. COLLEGE: TWO YEARS OR MORE, NO DEGREE................................
I. COLLEGE GRADUATE (B.S. OR B.A.) ...................................................
J. POSTGRADUATE/NO DEGREE .............................................................
K. POSTGRADUATE/DEGREE (M.S., M.A., Ph.D., M.D., ETC.) .................

22

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

National Center for Education Statistics

Section H. Household Income and Welfare Participation

Section H: Household Income and Welfare Participation
H-1.

[HAND CARD.] Which number on this card describes your current marital status?

7

A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

H-2.

Have you ever received…

HAND
CARD

NEVER MARRIED...................................................................................
MARRIED ................................................................................................
LIVING AS MARRIED..............................................................................
SEPARATED OR DIVORCED.................................................................
WIDOWED...............................................................................................

1
2
3
4
5

YES

NO

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

A.
B.
C.
D.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?......................................................
Food stamps?...........................................................................................
[If female] WIC supplemental nutrition benefits? ......................................
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Aid to Families with
Dependent Children (AFDC), public assistance or public welfare
payments? ................................................................................................
E. Rent subsidy, such as Section 8 or public housing?.................................
If answered 2, DK or RF to H-2D, go to I-1; otherwise continue.

H-3.

How long has it been since you last received welfare payments? (Read responses and stop
when R indicates that you are at correct response.)
A.
B.
C.
D.

H-4.

1 year or less, ...........................................................................................
More than 1 year but less than 2 years, ...................................................
2 to 3 years, or .........................................................................................
More than 3 years?...................................................................................

1
2
3
4

About how long, in total, have you received welfare payments in your lifetime? (Read
responses and stop when R indicates that you are at correct response.)
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Less than 6 months, ................................................................................
6 months to one year,...............................................................................
More than 1 year but less than 2 years, ...................................................
2 to 3 years, or..........................................................................................
More than 3 years?...................................................................................

23

1
2
3
4
5

National Center for Education Statistics

Section H. Household Income and Welfare Participation

H-5.

Why did you stop getting welfare payments? Was it because you…
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.

Were incarcerated? ..................................................................................
Reached the time limit set by welfare? .....................................................
Were discontinued for non-compliance? ..................................................
Got a job? .................................................................................................
Got a raise and earned too much money? ...............................................
Got married?.............................................................................................
Got child support? ....................................................................................
Received too much income from a source other than a job or child
support?....................................................................................................
Moved?.....................................................................................................

YES

NO

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

1

2

If answered 2 for H-5A through H-5I, go to H-6; otherwise go to I-1.
H-6.

Was there some other reason you stopped receiving welfare? __________________________

24

National Center for Education Statistics

Section I. Health Questions

Section I: Health Questions
I-1.

In general, how would you rate your overall health? Would you say it is…
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

I-2.

Excellent, ..................................................................................................
Very good, ................................................................................................
Good,........................................................................................................
Fair, or ......................................................................................................
Poor? ........................................................................................................

Do you have any difficulty seeing the words and letters in ordinary newspaper print even when
wearing glasses or contact lenses, if you usually wear them?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

I-3.

1
2

Do you have any other health problem, impairment, or disability now that keeps you from
participating fully in work, school, or other activities?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

I-6.

1
2

Have you ever been diagnosed or identified as having a learning disability?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

I-5.

1
2

Do you have any difficulty hearing what is said in a normal conversation with another person
even when using a hearing aid, if you usually wear one?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

I-4.

1
2
3
4
5

1
2

[HAND CARD.] Now I’d like to find out how you usually get information about health issues, such as diet,
exercise, disease prevention, or a specific disease or health condition. How much information about
health issues do you get from…
Would you say…

HAND
CARD

4

A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

Newspapers?........................
Magazines? ..........................
Radio and television? ...........
Books or brochures?.............
Talking to health care
professionals, such as
doctors, nurses, therapists, or
psychologists? ......................
F. Family members, friends,
other inmates or staff? ..........

A lot

Some

A little

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

25

or

None

National Center for Education Statistics

Section J. Additional Demographics

Section J: Additional Demographics
J-1.

Are you Hispanic or Latino?
A. YES ..........................................................................................................
B. NO ............................................................................................................

J-2.
HAND
CARD

8
J-3.
HAND
CARD

9

1
2

(J-3)

[HAND CARD.] Which of the groups on this card describes your Hispanic or Latino origin?
Choose one or more.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

MEXICAN, MEXICAN AMERICAN, OR CHICANO ..................................
PUERTO RICAN OR PUERTO RICAN AMERICAN ....................................
CUBAN OR CUBAN AMERICAN .....................................................................
CENTRAL OR SOUTH AMERICAN.................................................................
OTHER HISPANIC OR LATINO BACKGROUND ....................................

1
2
3
4
5

[HAND CARD.] Which of the groups on this card best describes you? Choose one or more.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.

WHITE ......................................................................................................
BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN...................................................................
ASIAN.....................................................................................................................
AMERICAN INDIAN OR ALASKA NATIVE ....................................................
NATIVE HAWAIIAN OR OTHER PACIFIC ISLANDER ............................

1
2
3
4
5

Interview: Code language in which interview was conducted. 1 = English; 2 =
Spanish.

26

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #1
No difficulty
Some difficulty
Moderate difficulty
Great deal of difficulty

27

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #2
Less than high school (0-8 years)
Some high school (9-12 years but did not graduate)
GED or high school equivalency
High school graduate (12 years; accelerated or early graduate program)
Attended a vocational, trade, or business school after high school
College: less than 2 years
College: Associate’s degree (A.A.)
College: two years or more, no degree
College graduate (B.S. or B.A.)
Postgraduate/no degree

28

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #3

Classes up to the 9th grade
High School classes, but did not receive a GED or high school
GED or high school equivalency
College classes, but did not receive a degree
College: Associate’s Degree (A.A.)
College graduate (B.S. or B.A.)
Postgraduate classes

29

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #4

A lot
Some
A little
None

30

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #5

Social Security or other pensions (e.g., veterans, Supplemental Security Income, disability)
Welfare, charity
Unemployment insurance compensation / workman’s compensation
Family or friends
Illegal sources
Educational scholarship or grant

31

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #6

Every day
A few times a week
Once a week
Less than once a week
Never

32

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #7

Never married
Married
Living as married
Separated or divorced
Widowed

33

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #8

Mexican, Mexican American or Chicano
Puerto Rican or Puerto Rican American
Cuban or Cuban American
Central or South American
Other Hispanic or Latino background

34

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #9

White
Black or African American
Asian
American Indian or Alaska Native
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

35

National Center for Education Statistics

HAND CARD #10

Less Than Two Days
Two to Six Days
Seven to 10 Days
More Than 10 Days

36

National Center for Education Statistics